SeaGL 2016 - Cutting Some Slack: Decoding IRC
Publication date 2016-11-11
IRC is old. IRC is arcane. IRC is hard to set up. IRC has no scrollback by default. IRC has the usability of a broken down car.
IRC is also the chat solution of choice for thousands of free/open source projects. It's freely licensed. It's free to use. It's free (as in puppy) to set up and maintain. It's discoverable.
If you want to participate in and collaborate on these projects, you can't stamp your grumpy foot until someone sets up a Slack instance. You need to learn how to use IRC. Unfortunately, much of the criticism of IRC is entirely true: It IS an arcane system, and unfortunately it's one whose documentation was mostly written decades ago by people who did not have usability or user experience in mind. Even with that documentation, a lot of the knowledge necessary for a successful IRC experience for new users is tribal knowledge which is locked in the brains of the grey haired members of open source, making it more difficult to get started using the technology.
This talk will demystify IRC and make it almost as easy (and maybe even as enjoyable) as using a different chat system. You'll learn how to get scrollback when you want it, how to stake a claim on your nickname, how to navigate the enigmatic social mores of IRC, among other interesting nuggets of information.
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